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Until recently, common wisdom on Brazil’s presidential election was overwhelmingly that it was president Dilma Rousseff’s to lose.

Now, however, the signs that the incumbent may have to scramble to avoid having a second-term slip from her grasp are coming harder and faster. Continue reading »

Jara in

The revolving doors of Peru’s cabinet are spinning out of control. Ollanta Humala, the president, this week named his sixth cabinet chief in less than three years, complicating an already difficult stretch for the government. Continue reading »

By Lucy O’Carroll of Aberdeen Asset Management

The Bretton Woods conference aimed to reshape the international financial system and end the protectionism that, in the view of the US and UK, had contributed to the drift towards the Second World War. Seventy years on, does the recently formed Brics Bank – set up by a group of emerging economies – threaten the legacy of Bretton Woods? Continue reading »

It is like the return of a prodigal son. Infosys, the Indian IT group, hived off its “products, platforms and solutions” business this year into a wholly-owned but independent subsidiary known as EdgeVerve.

The unit was first formed two and a half years ago as part of the group’s efforts to move into higher value businesses. But that strategy – dubbed “Infosys 3.0″ – has taken a back seat in the past year as the focus shifted back to the traditional IT services that are bread and butter for Infosys. Now, as the parent group’s financial results improve and a new group chief executive arrives next month, this young but fast-growing subsidiary is poised to come back into the spotlight. Continue reading »

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Of course, it all goes back to Peter the Great at the turn of the eighteenth century. On the one hand, the Russian Tsar worked in the Dutch shipyards incognito to import modern boatbuilding techniques to his empire. On the other, he systematically seized the estates of unhelpful nobles in a manner which suggested that western European notions of property rights had yet to sink in.

Russia’s traditional simultaneous fascination with and repulsion towards foreign ideas and institutions, the latter generally winning out at times of stress, is reflected in the difficulties the EU and US have encountered in trying to shift Moscow’s behaviour in Ukraine.

 Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Airlines halt Israel flights after attack | Cancellations after rockets fired from Gaza Strip landed within a mile of the airport come amid sensitivity after MH17 was shot down

* Cameron accused of hypocrisy on Russia | French Socialist party leader attacks David Cameron for criticising France’s warship sale when so many Russian oligarchs have ‘sought refuge in London’ Continue reading »

By Stuart Larkin of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Following his “flipping the switch” on political reform, Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president, has embraced the international donor community – of bilateral and multilateral agencies led by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the IMF – in an agenda of good governance and economic liberalisation. Early reforms have spurred economic growth to around 8 per cent and both government and donors have extrapolated this trend out to 2030 and the attainment of middle income status almost as if it is already in the bag. Not wanting to be seen as a spoiler, neither side has an interest in deviating from this new economic narrative. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Rupiah rises after Widodo election win | Reformist Jakarta governor beats self-styled strongman Prabowo Subianto, who said he would reject the results claiming the poll was unfair

* EU rifts scupper new Russia sanctions | Embargo meets resistance from some EU countries, particularly France, which was forced to defend its decision to continue honouring assault ships to Russia Continue reading »

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) surprised the markets on Tuesday by lopping 20 basis points off its policy interest rate to leave it at 2.1 per cent a year, a new record low.

But Gyorgy Matolcsy, central bank governor, said Tuesday’s cut marked the end of the bank’s two-year cutting cycle. Continue reading »

Brazilian inflation broke the upper bound of the government’s target range in the first half of July, reaching an annual rate of 6.51 per cent according to the statistics office IBGE. It looks set to stay high until the country’s elections in October, putting further pressure on the candidacy of Dilma Rousseff, seeking re-election as president.

The half-monthly figures presented by the IBGE are not seasonally adjusted. But Neil Shearing at Capital Economics reckons they show a clear tendency to take annual inflation to 6.6 per cent for the full month, up from 6.5 per cent in June. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Mistral row dominates EU sanctions talks | François Hollande says the delivery of a second vessel under the €1.2bn contract will depend on Moscow’s attitude to the conflict in Ukraine

* UK to hold inquiry into Litvinenko death | Home secretary Theresa May is to announce an inquiry into the death in London of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko Continue reading »

By Mario Pezzini of the OECD

The year 2010 was a turning point. What we didn’t know at the time – but what new data just released have shown us – was that 2010 was the year when the share of non-OECD countries in the global economy surpassed that of OECD countries, at purchasing power parity. The rate of this shift has been remarkable: just 10 years earlier these countries accounted for 40 per cent of the global economy. The shift is being led by China and India, which together account for almost a quarter of the global economy. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Photo shows signs of missile hit on MH17 | Three experts confirm a photograph published by the FT over the weekend FT picture shows signs of shrapnel damage consistent with a missile strike

* Europe urged to harden Russia sanctions | UK-led group, including central and eastern European countries, wants to lay groundwork for an escalation to target entire sectors of economy Continue reading »

After what has felt like an endless waiting game, Mexico’s energy reform is finally entering the home straight.

This weekend Senate members approved key bills to govern the new-look hydrocarbons sector, as well as the energy sector and the state utility, CFE, and oil company, Pemex, that will lose their monopolies under the sweeping reform. There is just one section still to be passedContinue reading »

Antonio Soto, Asia Manager of AJE Group posed for a photoshoot at AJE factory in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia. June 5, 2014. Rony Zakaria for The Financial Times©Rony Zakaria

Sebastianus Hendro Kistanto, an IT technician in the Indonesian city of Semarang, always drank Coca-Cola, even after he stop­ped working for the US soft-drinks company’s operation in the country.

That was until he picked up his first bottle of Big Cola last year, attracted by the low price – just Rp3,000 (25 cents) for a 535ml serving. “Coke has the best taste but Big Cola costs much less,” he says, adding that he drinks about four bottles a week.

 Continue reading »